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[awr-neyt] /ɔrˈneɪt/
elaborately or sumptuously adorned, often excessively or showily so:
They bought an ornate Louis XIV sofa.
embellished with rhetoric; florid or high-flown:
an ornate style of writing.
Origin of ornate
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin ornātus well-equipped, adorned, orig. past participle of ornāre to equip; see -ate1
Related forms
ornately, adverb
ornateness, noun
unornate, adjective
unornately, adverb
unornateness, noun
1. showy, ostentatious; rich, lavish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ornately
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is exactly like the other figure, with the hands over the belly, aproned and ornately tasseled on its left.

  • He writes too ornately, too laconically, with too great a wealth of imagery and imagination.

    Poor Folk Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • We find upon these broad surfaces enormous mesas and lofty, ornately carved edifices of rock which the floods have left standing.

    The Book of the National Parks Robert Sterling Yard
  • The capitals of the pillars are likewise ornamented with highly interesting and ornately sculptured capitals.

  • ornately simple architecture marks the columned houses of its best street.

  • At the portal a diminutive messenger delivered a large white box, ornately bound in lavender ribbons.

    The Voice on the Wire Eustace Hale Ball
  • There were rugs on the floor, a couch, after the Eastern fashion, and ornately carved stools.

    Shadows in Zamboula Robert E. Howard
  • The barge was not unlike an ancient galley in shape, but ornately curved like the proa of a South Sea Islander.

    A Trip to Venus John Munro
British Dictionary definitions for ornately


heavily or elaborately decorated
(of style in writing) overembellished; flowery
Derived Forms
ornately, adverb
ornateness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ornāre to decorate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ornately



early 15c., from Latin ornatus "fitted out, furnished, supplied; adorned, decorated, embellished," past participle of ornare "adorn, fit out," from stem of ordo "order" (see order (n.)). Earliest reference is to literary style. Related: Ornately; ornateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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